Okay. So I've only read this book multiple times and just realized I DID NOT REVIEW IT FOR SOME UNFATHOMABLE REASON.
What is wrong with me?! Good thing I remember enough to write SOMETHING down...
Praesidium is a polis situated adjacent to a bay, ruled by the Chief, who happens to be Ennek's father. As the second son, Ennek has had the freedom to explore his own selfish interests while his older brother is raised to become the next in succession.
I could gush and pour lots of praise about Kim Fielding's ability to craft such a magnificent fantasy world. And by "magnificent," I don't mean all rainbows and sunshine. Because the author has developed a world where cruel things can happen.
And when Ennek finds the person who has haunted his dreams since childhood, he can't help but start something he could not take back. Because Miner, the prisoner who has lied in "stasis" for 300 years, becomes more than a curiosity. And in keeping Miner away from prying eyes in this homophobic society, the Chief and the Wizard of the polis, Ennek will have to shed the life of indulgences to protect what is truly important to him.
So there is magic.
There is romance.
There is even the start of an adventure.
There is no sex, though that's okay. Because I love everything else about this book/series. My only complaint that knocked this from a 5 star read to a 4 star is that it does take a while for Miner to come into the picture. There's a lot of Ennek and world building at first, so it does start slow. But once Miner is there, I became a very happy reader.
*gushes some more*